Helena blues fest
BOBBY RUSH: Playing blues in Helena.
Helena’s annual blues festival had to surrender its King Biscuit moniker in a legal dispute, but the newly named Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival will go on by the Mississippi River in downtown Helena Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 6-8.
The 20th annual free blues festival is expected again to draw thousands of music fans from around the region and the world. Helena’s Delta Cultural Center, at 223 Cherry St., will present its free annual Blues Symposium during the festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. “Arkansas Music: Blues and Beyond” will feature music experts Robert Cochran, Stephen Koch and Jim O’Neal as they exploring the rich musical heritage of the state and the Delta region, focusing on blues, R&B, rock’n’ roll, country and gospel. Blues researcher Steve Hoffman will moderate the panel.
The Cultural Center will also honor James Cotton and David “Honeyboy” Edwards, both performing in this year’s festival, with its Awards for Blues Excellence, also known as the “Sonny” Awards. Cotton is scheduled to perform at 10:30 p.m. Friday on the Sonny Williamson Main Stage and Edwards will perform on the Robert Lockwood Jr. Heritage Stage at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Other headlining performers at the festival are Lonnie Shields, the Cate Brothers and the Kentucky Headhunters on Thursday at the main stage, with Shields starting at 7:25 p.m.; Pinetop Perkins and Bob Margolin, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Cotton on Friday starting with Perkins/Margolin at 5:30 p.m.; and Mark Hummell, Irma Thomas and Bobby Rush on the main stage starting at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
Music starts daily at noon. As many as four stages will have music at one time.
For more information on the Cultural Center Symposium, call (870) 338-4350 or (800) 358-0972. For more information on the blues festival, visit the website at www.bluesandheritage.com.
Collins, Havens lead Folk Festival
Icons of the folk music world will be in Eureka Springs for the 58th annual Original Ozark Folk Festival, running Thursday through Monday, Oct. 6-10. Such legends of folk as Judy Collins and Richie Havens will be teamed with “new folk” stars in a variety of performances.
The jam-packed weekend includes the “Queen’s Contest,” concerts at the historic downtown City Auditorium, a performing songwriter’s contest, folk art parade, street musicians, workshops, folk art gallery walk, Kerrville Folk Festival showcase, a children’s stage and more.
Little Rock native Fred Tackett of Little Feat fame will open the Friday music at 7:30 p.m. at City Auditorium, and will be followed by Ray Wylie Hubbard and legendary Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Tickets are $25.
Saturday’s show begins at 8 p.m. with Austin opener Ruthie Foster, whose voice has been likened to Ella Fitzgerald’s and Aretha Franklin’s, and whose music is a hybrid of folk, blues, gospel and roots. Havens will headline Saturday’s concert. Tickets are $30 and $35.
A Sunday evening festival will conclude weekend events with “An Evening with Judy Collins.” Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and contemporary themes in an impressive career that has spanned more than 40 years. Tickets for Collins’ show are $45 and $55. Collins will also participate in a Monday morning “Brunch with Judy” book-signing to be held at the Crescent Hotel. Tickets are $16 and available by calling 479-253-7444.
A special $99 three-show, floor-seat-only concert package is available. For a complete listing of performances, events and ticket information, visit www.theaud.org or www.eurekasprings.org or call 888-855-7823.
Ghostly drama at Mount Holly
Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School’s acting classes will provide the talent for the always well-received, “Tales of the Crypt” on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Holly Cemetery at 10th and Broadway. The cemetery association and the First Presbyterian Church of Little Rock also sponsor the free event, which recounts Arkansas history through the lives of Arkansans buried at Mount Holly, including boy martyr David O. Dodd.
Plan to arrive early to take one of the two candle-lit tours (one on the north side if the cemetery and one on the south) that run simultaneously starting every five minutes. A guide takes a small audience group to eight stops on each tour in the city’s oldest cemetery.
Famous inhabitants being portrayed this year are former governor Jeff Davis and wife Ina; Albert DeShon, a former railroad employee who purchased the Capitol Hotel; Dr. Isaac Folsom, the founder of a clinic that preceded the University of Arkansas Medical Science Center, and Jane Eliza Mills Woodruff, wife of the Arkansas Gazette editor. Students research and write scripts for their performances.
For more information, call 447-2362.
Book arts mobilized
Projet Mobilivre — or the Bookmobile Project — will bring 300 handmade and independently published books to the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Friday, Oct. 7, and the River Market and Vino’s Brewpub on Saturday, Oct. 8.
The vintage Airstream, which tours the United States and Canada, is outfitted with seats and racks for visitors to inspect the art books, small press and ’zines and volunteers will give workshops on self-made media arts, such as bookbinding and magazine publishing.
The Canada Council for the Arts project will make stops at sites selected by its local sponsors, UALR, the Central Arkansas Library System and Vino’s: at the Fine Arts Building at UALR from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday; in front of the River Market from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 7 p.m. on at Vino’s, 7th and Chester Streets.